Deborah Frances-White, The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Warwick Arts Centre, Thurs June 8
Comedian Deborah Frances-White and Felicity Ward will be joined by Nat Luurtsema and Rose Matafeo as they discuss topics “all 21st century feminists agree on” while confessing their insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that underlie their lofty principles. The podcast, recorded in front of a live audience, has been a huge success with over 2,000,000 downloads in its first year. Edinburgh Fringe regular Deborah Frances-White is the 2016 Writers’ Guild Award Winner for Best Radio Comedy for her hit BBC Radio 4 series Deborah Frances-White Rolls the Dice, 7.45pm.
Laila Alj’s I Am Here, Theatre Absolute, Shop Front Theatre, Coventry, Wed June 7
The second instalment of award-winning Theatre Absolute’s Are We Where We Are? scheme, a two-year project showcasing original writing. This 20-minute new piece is one of 9 personal and political pieces commissioned in response to American novelist Henry David Thoreau’s provocation ‘We are not where we are, but in a false position’. It will be followed by a post-show Q&A with Moroccan-born writer and performer, Laila. Tickets cost £8 (full price) & £6 (concessions), and are available online via Oxboffice.
Shop Front Theatre, 38 City Arcade, Coventry, CV1 3HW, theatreabsolute.co.uk
Salome, The Swan, Stratford, Fri June 2-Sept 6
Owen Horsley directs Oscar Wilde’s controversial one act play, Salome, originally banned in the UK, marking 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality. This contemporary 1hr 40 min poetic masterpiece will place sexual ambiguity at the core with male actor Matthew Tennyson playing Salome looking a little like one of my fave singer-songwriters, Ezra Furman (features nudity and ‘scenes of a sexual nature’, just so you know!).
rsc.org.uk, Tel: 01789 403493
An evening with writer Arundhati Roy, Town Hall Birmingham, Tues June 6
A rare opportunity to hear from an outstanding writer, activist and speaker, as part of Birmingham Literature Festival. Roy’s seminal Booker-winning novel debut novel The God of Small Things told the story of twins Rahel and Estha growing up in the politically turbulent state of Kerala in the 1960s. She will be in conversation, talking about her new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, the first in 20 years since her debut, as well as politics, her life and writing. She’ll also take questions from the audience. If you missed it, it’s well worth listening to BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs from March when she was interviewed by Kirsty Young, 7.30pm-9pm.
Jodie Prenger in Shirley Valentine, The Belgrade, Coventry, Tues June 6 – Sat June 10
Award-winning actress Jodie Prenger stars in Willy Russell’s heart-warming comedy visiting Coventry as part of a 30th anniversary tour. This one-character comedy follows Liverpool housewife Shirley on a 2 week trip to Greece. The stage production took the world by storm when it first premiered in 1986, and went on to be adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.
Comedy of Errors, Packwood House, Lapworth nr Solihull, Sat June 10
Outdoor Theatre by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men perform in the beautiful gardens of restored Tudor House Packwood, 7.30pm – 10pm.
nationaltrust.org.uk/packwood-house, Tel: 0344 249 1895.
Coventry food & Drink Festival, Broadgate, Coventry, June Fri 9-Sun June 11
Coventry Food & Drink Festival is back for a second year with a special guest – four-time Michelin star chef, AA Rosette winner and TV personality Jean-Christophe Novelli, who is currently starring in ITV’s ‘Culinary Genius’. He’ll be offering hints and tips during mouth-watering demos on Sat and Sun. This year the three-day festival, with support from Coventry BID, will include late night opening on Fri and Sat. More than 50 traders will be exhibiting including Fargo Village’s Twisted Barrel, The Travelling Bartender, The Paneer Wrap Company, Gourmet Place, Retro Lilly, Taste of Thailand, Boo Fes Italian and lots more.
Spring Mischief Festival, The Other Place, Stratford, Wed May 24–Sat June 17
Myth. Photo Sarah Ainslie
A playful and provocative month-long festival of new work, including a double-bill of two new plays, including The Earthworks by super talented playwright Tom Morton-Smith who had a huge hit with his debut play Oppenheimer about the father of the atom bomb in 2015 at the RSC and Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End. It will be directed by the RSC’s Deputy Artistic Director Erica Wyman. There’s also Myth, a terrific collaborative work by innovative playwright Matt Hartley and award-winning director and Complicite Associate Kirsty Housley about a wine-fuelled dinner party that descends into chaos. I’m sure we’ve all had a few of those…!
rsc.org.uk, Tel: 01789 403493
Carmen – Fire and Fate, Studio Theatre, Warwick Arts Centre, Fri June 9
Following her debut solo recital at Cadogan Hall in 2016, internationally renowned American mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chávez returns to the UK to perform her conceptual production Carmen – Fire and Fate, a one-woman show with dancing, drama and Bizet’s stunning music. In the UK she’s performed Carmen for The Welsh National Opera and The Marquise de Merteuil in Luca Francesconi’s Quartett at the Royal Opera House, London. This exciting new piece will be staged at 7.45 pm.
David Starkey, Germaine Greer & Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards, Spoken Word Summer, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington, Wed May 31-Tue June 6
Listen to historian David Starkey on Henry VIII: The 1st Brexiteer, Wed May 31; feminist writer, academic and commentator Germaine Greer discussing Women for Life on Earth about female eco-warriors on Thurs June 1 and Eddie ‘the Eagle’ talking through his life-journey in Try Hard on Tue June 6. For ages 16+.
The Addams Family, Birmingham Hippodrome, Tues June 6–Sat June 10
Wednesday Addams is all grown up and has a shocking secret – she’s fallen in love with a sweet, young man from a respectable family. With Morticia in the dark will Gomez manage to keep his daughter’s secret until the two families meet for a fateful dinner with hilarious consequences? Musical comedy Starring Samantha Womack as Morticia, Les Dennis as Uncle Fester, and Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday, for ages 7+. Read Muddy Northants review here.
Wolfgang Tillmans, Tate Modern, Southwark, until Jun 11
If you’re in London for half-term and get a child-free moment, check out this show. The socially and politically engaged German snapper was the first photographer and the first non-British artist to receive the Turner Prize – and this exhibition will show you why. It’s set across 14 rooms, with photos pinned, high, low, everywhere and sometimes taped directly onto the walls; pinballing between subject matters and location, from Hollywood to Tehran. Even the most mundane subjects – cigarette butts, a lobster carcass – are compellingly beautiful when viewed through his lens. Until 11 June.